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4 min reading time
Group member Amy Baxter, MD, is furious.
“I just got back from #PAINWeek where supposedly doctors are learning about what works for their patients to manage pain. We brought our new DuoTherm low back pain thermal/vibration prototypes – almost all the doctors cared about was drugs!
Let me tell you a little about Dr. Baxter.
Amy Baxter MD is an inventor, innovator, and pediatric emergency physician. She made Buzzy, which, to date, has blocked pain from 31 million needle procedures.
And she’s serious about drug-free pain relief. After Buzzy, she made VibraCool.
Then, in response to the repeated question, “When are you making one for the back?” she and her colleagues at PainCareLabs developed DuoTherm, now in the concept/prototyping stage and featured in an Indiegogo campaign through November 2018.
Why won’t you believe me?
The history of devices is paved with skepticism. For your entertainment, a 1930 video entitled, “Fat Men Use Mueller Exerciser Belt.” And, well, Theranos.
So you probably won’t be shocked to learn, of the $60 billion spent on U.S. pain management each year, only two of it is on devices.
Devices are at such a disadvantage versus medication that – get this – the family behind OxyCotin is now looking to market a milder opioids to help wean addicts off, well, opioids.
Yet primary pain physicians aren’t won over yet. “Only two of 126 #PAINWeek presentations were about consumer devices,” Amy reported.
Turning the tide
“The first difficulty in turning the tide from pharma to device is, of course, reimbursement. Any prescription medication is fast tracked for coverage.
On the other hand, devices that work may not get paid for. Just last week, FDA announced a plan to give manufacturers clear guidance on what studies need to be done for payor reimbursement. This is extremely helpful, but underlies the huge hurdle of high quality studies.”
“In general,” Amy continued, “device research (especially for consumer devices) isn’t as rigorous as in pharma.
Just one example, a device company study compared 800 compliant patients to 100 who self-selected out. They concluded those who stuck with the program, did better, evidence “the device works.” Uh huh. 🙄
Audaciously, the QR code accompanying their “scientific poster” took you to a “Buy a Device” page. 😠
Fighting the good fight
Check out the IndieGogo campaign and, if you (or someone you love) is a back-pain sufferer, maybe get a unit at half price.
Thanks for reading and tell me what you think of this article, her concept, and the imbalance between device and pharma solutions in today’s comments.
Jobs, Jobs, Medical Device Jobs!
Thank you for your warm response to the new Medical Devices Group Job Board last week.
Candidates can upload their resume and fill out a profile with links to sites of your choosing. And due to popular demand, medical device hiring managers can post a job for free through Thursday, September 13. Use code BETATEST at checkout.
I think it’s gonna be big.
Also, we added a slick “Sharing” icon for each discussion. Use it to easily share items of interest over LinkedIn, Twitter, or email. I’m thrilled with the functionality.
Thank you for being part of our Medical Devices Group community.
Make it a great week.
P.S. Four weeks to go, and the group rate at the beautiful Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa and Marina expires next week. So if you’re flying in to San Diego for our 10x for ENGINEERS event, act today!
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I got quite a bit of feedback on this one, not all of it good.
Some enthusiastically endorsed the post, agreeing profoundly with Amy’s drug-free message. Others panned me for writing this “too much like a commercial” and threatening to “leave the group if this continues” because “that’s not what I signed up for.”
All I can say is ¯_(ツ)_/¯.
I can’t – won’t even try – to write in a way that pleases tens of thousands of readers to a person. Sorry. You’ve got the wrong guy.
I added logos to make it pretty. I added images to break up the text. And yes, I hoped some would be motivated to click through to her campaign, learn more about it, and, if so inclined, help her reach her goal.
Still, I’ll carry the feedback with me the next time I’m excited about something. I know some readers want me to write objectively, share facts, not opinions and personal stories.
That’s not my style. Within the month, we’ll offer functionality to opt out email messages but still have full access to the robust features we’ll build on MedicalDevicesGroup.net.
I gotta be me, Friends. I don’t know another way to do this and keep it fun. ❤️
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